Lightning Rod Shifter: 1984 Oldsmobile Limited Edition Hurst/Olds

I’m not sure really what to call this car. Is it a Cutlass? Well, it’s based on the Cutlass. It has a Hurst shifter. So is it a Hurst Cutlass? According to Standard Catalog of American Cars 1976-1999, it was called a 1984 Oldsmobile, Cutlass Calais-based Hurst/Olds coupe. The car is not included in the 1984 Oldsmobile brochure, but it did have a separate folder brochure in which it was referred to as a 1984 Limited Edition Hurst/Olds with no reference to Cutlass. So, since I normally like to use the manufacturer’s description, this 1984 Limited Edition Hurst/Olds is for sale here on Craigslist in Carlsbad, California. Thanks to Barnfinds reader and spotter Jack M. for finding this car and letting us know about it.

This car was driven until about five years ago and has not been driven since. The dust alone can almost attest it has been untouched during this time. The Hurst/Olds package included Silver Metallic and black special paint scheme with red and black accent stripes as well as a decklid spoiler. It’s hard to tell if it will clean up well, but I think it probably will. This car also features a T-top.

The red cloth bucket seat interior is in good condition except for the vinyl covering the center console armrest. So what’s with having 3 shifters? This is the Hurst Lightning Rod shifter. From the 1984 Limited Edition Hurst/Olds folder it is described:  “With the main control stick in D (Drive) use the center stick to downshift to “2nd” (or back up to Drive). Once you’re in 2nd, use the right-hand stick to downshift from 2nd to 1st (or back up to 2nd)”. The instrument panel included full instrumentation with speedometer, trip odometer, tachometer, oil pressure, fuel level, water temperature, and voltage.

The engine found under the hood is the 307 cubic inch, 5 liter V-8 with iron block and heads with an aluminum intake manifold that originally produced 180 horsepower. It also features a Rochester 4MV Quadrajet carburetor. No information is given on the car’s mileage. The car is listed for a friend, so the listing does not disclose the mileage. The price is $7,500. Of 24,893 Cutlass Calais models produced in 1984, 3,500 were Limited Edition Hurst/Olds. Would you like to occasionally enjoy this 1984 Limited Edition Hurst/Olds?

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Comments

  1. 68custom

    always thought (and still do) think these shifters are ridiculous looking. on an otherwise nice package, I mean if it had a lenco tranny, I could understand it, but really? I dig the dual gate though! nice car however and would make an awesome sleeper with an LS swap and 9 inch rear. I know I sound like a broken record regarding LS swaps but they make big power and iron block models are cheap! plus you wouldn’t want to swap a turbo charged honda K-24 in there would you!

    2
    • D.Meister

      I’d rather see a Buick 401 of say….1964 vintage in it.

      1
      • Michael Dwyer

        oh! too heavy!! unless you plan driving in a straight line only!

        1
      • Paul

        401 Buick Oh Yeah, that’s what I drove in 12 grade it was a lot faster than everyone thought LOL. That 66 Skylark GrandSport would smoke the tires for a city block

        2
  2. irocrobb

    I agree on the shifter . They only had around 180 hp and I do like the body style but could never get around that honky shifter

    2
    • Superdessucke

      This car is slow enough so that you at least have plenty of time to figure out the shifters.

      3
  3. Bob_in_TN Member

    I agree, this was a fairly attractive package. And I also agree, the shifter now comes across as strange. Interesting that certain by-gone automotive features are now seen as cool, while others are seen as outdated or bizarre. Possible examples: shaker hoods (cool), red velour interiors (not cool, though I do like them from a ‘period-correct’ perspective).

    2
  4. michael h streuly

    I like the shifters.

    6
  5. Anthony

    455 goes right in there. Looks stock. Cool car.

    6
  6. Miguel

    Since these cars had no performance to offer, they had to go with gimmicks.

    1
  7. MJF

    307 engine… Bummer !

    1
  8. Andrew Helgeson

    Owned one – drove it from 1989 to 1993 – daily driver in Florida. Transmission was not strong enough to drag race – and a previous owner DID that – and had it rebuilt with not good results. Could not find a replacement transmission for it in 1990 – so kept trying to get the one in it rebuilt to “last” more than 10,000 miles (think I had one last about 15,000 miles). Traded the H/O in on a Nissan Sentra SE-R.
    Shifters were a ‘wow’ factor. Transmission was programmed to shift faster than the driver could – and 1984 Hot Rod (and other automotive) magazine tests showed one was better off putting it in DRIVE and flooring it, than mess around with the shifters. On the way to work, I floored it and let it do the shifting – it would touch redline (around 5300rpm) shift from 1st to 2nd – and car would jump to the left a few inches – and just keep going. Speedo only registered to about 87mph – the tripmeter reset would stop the needle from registering higher.
    I do kind of miss the H/O – but, not really. It was fun while I had it.

    1
  9. Del

    Nice car.

    Firm on price

    I am firm on washing before attempting a sale

    4
  10. Lucky strike

    I got to tell you the person who thought about those three shifters it’s got to be the biggest moron on Earth it is so stupid looking it’s pathetic

  11. Paul

    Had a friend years ago bought one new then was selling it a few years later. Lived just a mile north of Detroit so a guy comes to look at it gets in starts it up and drives off never to see it again :o(

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